Goodbye to Bo
Passed away 7/12/23
Napping which he did MUCH more at our new place than ever before
I’ve been struggling to write for our dear Bo, aka Odyssey, who passed away suddenly last Monday. And when I say sudden, I suspect he was gone before he hit the ground – as he didn’t hit the ground, he was on top of the fence, as if he’d been blown over. Our big boy flattened (bent over) 3 tposts. Pulled two more over as the whole fence/wiremesh was flattened under him. He appeared calmly sleeping, except for being on the fence. (And yeah, I hope I go as quickly when my time comes. Wish I could look as good as he did.) Our big quiet boy did as he always did; quietly and calmly walked a short distance from the herd, behind a wall of trees, and left.
Grazing at our new place
I’d seen him earlier that morning having a drink at the outside waterer. He seemed the same as ever, gleaming in the morning sun. He wasn’t with Jedi, but at breakfast time, they would sometimes take different places in the field. But on general appearance and behavior, I would never have put him on the list of fragiles. I can only guess of course – heart attack? Stroke? Approximately 24 years of age, not the oldest or even close, but maybe large horses are like large dogs – we seldom get much time with them. Can anyone educate me on that? My oldest really big horse might have been Inch, and she was very late 20s or early 30s. But girls live longer…?
Maybe for the last time, lets remember Bo. Or as I called him Bo-Bo you goof. He was the quiet horse you would catch watching you – with that little twinkle in his eyes. You either just tripped, or he was planning some silliness, but he was not laughing AT you, but rather, WITH you. He had that physical stillness I associate with large men too. And his way of protecting his various friends (Trace, Boo, Anya, Jedi, to name a few) was to simply BE between them and any irritant. And I’m guessing there was huge gravitas behind his size, because even Laddie NEVER messed with him. Whatever his day brought, he quietly took care of it.
With Trace, little gelding pony who needed a protector
He understood his size, most notably when he got on the trailer to come to this new facility, and never once bonked his head on the canopies (which were plenty tall once he was inside, but which had to ducked under sometimes even for me, at the entryway). I had him in a big stall of course, but he never bumped anything or anyone inadvertently – and I can’t say that about too many of TGCs horses. And while he could shake the ground when he thundered by, most times he crept up behind me like a ghost. When I think of how I thump-thump-thump around, how did that giant horse move so silently?
With his True Love, Anya
You know we give horses here all the freedom we can, and some horses practically become feral overnight. But Bo always remembered his training, and made handling him much easier than expected. He would lower his head for the halter; walk perfectly by my shoulder; pick up his plate sized feet without leaning on me or the farrier; and overall was a perfect gentleman. I needed him to do something? He quietly took care of it.
Bo and Anya with the farrier
Hanging with flashy Boo
And with Bo, his good manners were a two-fer, because his friend at the moment always followed his lead. He was cute with his friends – he didn’t want to admit he cared for them. They would attach to him following him around and standing ever closer. And he seemed to say, O, yeah, that guy/girl. They’re with me, I can’t get rid of them. But after a short period at first, if the friend was led away, he would start calling for them to come back! So, as I do here, I brought the current friend up with Bo to get their feet trimmed, and all was calm. Put them in adjacent stalls, and when Bo went in, the friend did too. Looking for the friend? Find Bo, they’re gonna be close. He calmed all, and quietly took care of it.
Jedi, Bo and Anya at our new place
And in the final analysis, Bo did me the biggest favor, that lets me remember him without real pain – he chose when and how to leave. I didn’t have to ‘make the decision’. He quietly took care of it. Byebye Bo-Bo, and Thank you.
A favorite photo of him meeting Bear